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Santa Pod track work update.
19th February: Keith Bartlett, CEO of Trakbak Racing Ltd has sent an update on the works at Santa Pod Raceway:

After a period of some 6 weeks with bad weather postponing the pouring of the concrete, Santa Pod saw the first concrete pour take place (starting at 5.30 am) on Wednesday the 14th February – a very nice Valentine present for the Pod! The period of unsuitable weather over the last 2 weeks has certainly brought about a 'squeaky bum' scenario for some of us – especially me, here at Santa Pod Raceway. With almost £1m (one million pounds) invested into this project we cannot afford mistakes or any major delays. We already have had to lose some of our early RWYB events because of the delayed works, due to poor weather conditions.

We have completed two fifths of the total pour required – so we still have more pours to be completed, which if the weather holds next week we are hoping for completion of the laying of all the concrete. 

The requirements for laying the concrete track are that we need to avoid high wind speeds, to allow the laser levelling to remain 100% accurate, plus the outside temperature cannot be too cold - and no rain at all. Now we all know that is a 'big ask' at the best of times at Santa Pod - let alone throughout the winter months.

With that said we are all very excited at Santa Pod to be laying this new track in concrete to the full quarter-mile. At the same time, we are re-laying quite a large and important area of the shutdown area (in asphalt), which we feel sure will be very welcomed by the racers.

If you look at the photographs accompanying this article you can even see in these photos the standard of the track surface being laid. We are hoping we are going to give British drag racing one of the best drag racing surfaces anywhere in Europe - a tall order and big statement I know, but that is our goal and target. In addition, I would like to get European track records back at Santa Pod Raceway.

The company that are carrying out the re-laying of the track is 'Knights Construction' who I must say are doing a very professional job and meeting all the high design and laying criteria that they and we set at the outset of this project way back at the beginning of August in 2017. We have found all the management and staff at Knights Construction to be our type of people – professional people, who are of the mind set similar to us; that being; 'can do - and will do'! Of all the contractors, I have dealt with since purchasing Santa Pod Raceway in 1996 and having laid two previous tracks at Santa Pod, plus one at Avon Park (as it was called then), I must add Knights Construction and their MD Matt Jones are top level. 

We have also re-constructed and re-modelled the spectator bank and people will be very pleasantly surprised at the result. The bank was also laser levelled and now has an alignment with the track along with better access and a pathway on the top.

Neale Saunders who has directly project managed the whole works on behalf of Santa Pod added: "The whole project has been enthralling since the very start. Knights Construction understood very quickly what was required and the gravity of such an important development for Santa Pod and Knights MD Matt Jones even made the effort to visit the US to take in an NHRA event with me to meet the head of their operations department which has laid 20+ tracks over the years. Work began on site soon after the design came together and was signed off in the autumn. The one thing fans won’t see is the incredible amount of construction that lays beneath the super smooth surface. There are 3 newly installed drains running down the entire length of the quarter mile to keep the subbase dry; the old WW2 runway was ripped out and crushed to form part of the 750 mm deep foundation so with 8,600 square metres of track to build this was no small task. Huge thanks must go to Danny Bradshaw of Knights and the extremely capable men of the Earth Moving Division who were responsible for expertly installing the many thousands of tons of material that went into the track and the spectator banking. They may be "The warm up act" for the concrete laying guys but; what an act!

The technical side of the concrete laying operation led by Greg Davis is very impressive; the accuracy on this job is more exacting than Knights would normally work to, with state of the art laser screed machines dictating the grade of the surface to within 2mm. There will be a very slight 50 mm fall from right to left of  across the 20 m width of the track (compared to a fall of up to 175 mm in places on the old track) to help with shedding water. The track walls have been heightened too allow for the uplift required. The finish on the concrete surface is something we have worked hard on; sourcing opinions from American Crew Chiefs, Safety Safari track crew, track whisperers and not forgetting our very own hugely experienced SPRC track crew. As most will know, track prep is a very important part of Championship Drag Racing so it was vital that the correct finish is left on the concrete to allow for our prep team to apply the magic.  Knights installed test patches to allow us to decide on the best finish, which is just short of a shine. This, coupled with a new counter rotator track prep machine on order from Andy Robinson Race Cars, will see Santa Pod take another step towards regaining those European records.

A vital part of the soul of Santa Pod is the spectator banking, which has been remodeled. My intention here was simple; improve on the best bits and get rid of the bad bits. The old bank had significant areas that were not usable, particularly past half track. Some areas were very steep and unsuitable and other areas were flat which meant viewing was difficult. The bank at the startline had the best gradient so we selected that and applied it to the whole bank, right to the finish line. The height is now uniform (the startline end was much lower than the finish line) with a wide new path rather that the old rocky and muddy one. The pedestrian ramp is less steep and directed towards the toilets at the rear of the bank to allow for uninterrupted viewing by the faithful on the front elevation. The Hill Bar remains, as a fan favorite;  the view from here will be much better as the height gain really is noticeable. We have also sought the advice of a seed consultant to be sure we have the right type of seed and fertilizer to ensure the bank will be ready to receive spectators at the Festival of Power over the Easter weekend. All in all, we are all very proud of the improvements at Santa Pod and hope that these commitments to the racers (track) and spectators (banking) will be enjoyed by all for many years to come."

In closing I feel that we have given both racers and spectators alike something not only new for 2018, but have made some major improvements to the whole facility at Santa Pod Raceway. I can't wait for the season to begin in earnest.


Festival of Power entry update.
19th February: Many thanks to Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall for sending us Version 1 of the official entry list for the Festival of Power, which takes place at Santa Pod Raceway on 30th March-1st April.

You can check out the Festival of Power entry list by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

"The new entry form system is having a few teething problems", says Ian. "Pete Walters has come up with a fix to help us out as follows: If you are using Chrome or Firefox browsers then a downloaded PDF file will open automatically in Chrome's PDF viewer, which for some reason disables the use of the submit button. You can disable it in your own browser to open in Adobe Reader which then works. So if you are having issues then please try it and let us know how you get on. Alternately if you open the PDF from wherever you saved it, then it will open in Reader and work."

You can download the official Festival of Power entry forms via the Information link of the SPRC web site at www.eurodragster.com/sprc.

Ian adds that Santa Pod Racers Club would like to thank last year's class title sponsors for continuing their involvement in Championship classes in 2018. "Once again Gearhead Garage are helping us with Super Pro ET, and Modurstang will be title sponsors for Pro ET class", he says, "Junior Dragster will also be supported by longtime sponsor Lucas Oil. We thank all of you for your support and ask that our members use these sponsors wherever possible."

If you have any queries about Festival of Power then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Hybrids join UK electric exclusion.
19th February: Ian Marshall also tells us that further to the notes of last week's Riders' and Drivers' Meeting, entries will now not be accepted from hybrid race vehicles as well as from electric race vehicles for Championship events at Santa Pod Raceway.

"We are setting up a working group in order to get electric vehicles back racing at the track as soon as we possibly can", says Ian. "We will keep you updated with any news on Eurodragster.com."

Electric and hybrid vehicles are still permitted at Run What You Brung events.

If you have any queries then again please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625) or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


APIRA Trophy Night closing.
17th February: Jerry Cookson of
Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch with a reminder that today (Saturday) is the deadline for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and the National Association of Supertwins Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place at 18:00 on Saturday 3rd March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (on Junction 15 of the M40).

Jerry asks that any 2017 APIRA Champions or runners-up who know that they will not be able to make the Trophy Evening E-Mail him at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at  www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February.

If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.


Micallef confirms title defence.
16th February: 2017 FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Champion, Malta's Duncan Micallef, has confirmed that he will be contesting the full Championship Tour again in 2018. Oliver Attard writes:

During an ceremony at a hotel in St. Julian's Duncan exhibited the four trophies which he won during 2017, a gesture appreciated by his sponsors who were present when he announced his news. Duncan explained that is not easy for any non-professional driver to contest two consecutive Championships, but the support of his team, his sponsors and car owner Rune Fjeld Motorsport had made it an easier decision for him. The good news was welcomed by the many fans who follow Duncan both at home and overseas.


The sponsors behind Duncan in 2017 were Bajada New Energy, JP Portelli Projects, Mobile Total and Kamtech, all of whom have confirmed their support once again for 2018.


Duncan's international commitments will start on 25th-28th May at Santa Pod Raceway, UK, then 10th-13th June at Tierp Arena, Sweden, 28th June-1st July at Alastaro, Finland, 17th-19th August at Hockenheim, Germany, 23rd-26th August again at Tierp Arena, Sweden and 6th-9th September at Santa Pod Raceway, UK. Apart from these six rounds Duncan will have two test sessions abroad.

Duncan's first appearance in Top Fuel Dragster this year will be at the first round of the Maltese Drag Racing Championship, organised by the Malta Drag Racing Association at Hal Far Raceway on 24th-25th March. This will be a wonderful experience for the whole family which no Maltese person should miss.


2018 French ATD calendar.
16th February: France's Association Trophée Dragster, the country's Championship, recently held its annual meeting to close the 2017 season and to plan its programme for 2018. Didier Canicave writes:

In 2017 the ATD organised three races, two at Clastres and one at Rivanazzano in partnership with American Motor Pavia in Italy and Run Cap Sud for the motorcycles at Clastres which were a real succes. Racers from all over the Europe were pleaased to join the ATD in 2017 and they all hope to return in 2018. The surface of Clastres Dragway is becoming better every year with preparation by ATD staff. ATD President Eric Angeloni would like to thank everyone - drivers, friends and especially volunteers - for the successful races in 2017.

In 2018 there are four races in the series:
  • 5th-6th May: Rivanazzano (ATD, AMP)
  • 23rd-24th June: Clastres Dragway (ATD)
  • 28th-29th July: Clastres Dragway (ATD, RCS)
  • 15th-16th September: Vichy Finales (ATD, RCS)
The main change for 2018 is the amalgamation of Street Run A, B and C into Sportsman ET with a bracket of 12.00 seconds to 19.00 seconds (except in Italy). The European Pro ET Challenge will join the ATD race at Clastres in July. Many racing organisations have contacted the ATD team wishing to run at the races in June and July races.

Finally Eric answered questions, technical and organisational, from French drivers and then the meeting was closed with the presentation of 2017 trophies.

Racers from all over Europe are welcome to race in the Association Trophée Dragster. If you would like more information then please E-Mail atd2003@free.fr.

Stay tuned and on our next update we will bring you pictures from both the ATD and European Top Gas Series presentations.


Matthew adds Gravitas.
16th February: UK Junior Dragster racer Matthew Dowdy is pleased to announce support from Gravitas HR Solutions for the forthcoming season. Mark Exley of Gravitas HR Solutions was introduced to drag racing by Matthew's dad just before Matthew was born. Once Matthew was old enough to go with his dad and Mark it wasn't long before Junior Dragster beckoned.

On to 2018 and at the end of last season it was becoming clear that the ex-Paige Wheeler car wasn't going to be big enough, so after a few calls and E-Mails an order was placed with HalfScale for a car capable of accommodating somebody 6' 4" tall. The new car should be sailing across to the UK shortly. It was then that Mark decided to help with the new adventure, saying that "Gravitas HR helps businesses to fulfil their potential, and we are delighted to support Matthew in his development through the Junior ranks in what will be an exciting season with the new car."

Gravitas HR Solutions are located at Grange Park, Northampton and at www.gravitashr.co.uk where full details of their services can be found. If you are in need of HR advice, please support someone who supports the sport!


Swift snippets.
16th February: After delays purely induced by weather Knights Construction Group were yesterday able to commence laying the new concrete surface at Santa Pod Raceway. Pouring commenced under clear skies and you can check out an extensive gallery on Santa Pod Raceway's Facebook page.


Our Pit Reporter Simon spent yesterday at the London Classic Car Show at ExCel and as well as finding plenty of US cars to ogle he was pleased to find the stand of Eurodragster.com sponsor the Anglo American Oil Company, and to meet Anders and Eva Hildebrand, who sent their greetings to Eurodragster.com readers.

Voting for the 2017 season APIRA Perpetual Awards closes at 23:59 UK tonight (Friday). To place your vote go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


SPR hook up with Camplify.
16th February: Peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV-sharing community Camplify has partnered with Santa Pod Raceway to provide RV accommodation for events in 2018. Camplify offers campers a wide selection of RV accommodation that can be booked at the following events:
  • Festival of Power (30th March-1st April)
  • Big Bang (27th–29th April)
  • FIA Main Event (25th-28th May)
  • Dragstalgia (13th-15th July)
  • Bug Jam (20th-22nd July)
  • FIA European Finals (6th-9th September)
  • Flame and Thunder Show (27th October)
Customers must purchase a ticket for the entire event to be able to camp, as Camplify RVs are not available for single day ticket holders.

Caroline Holden, Commercial Manager at Santa Pod Raceway said "The collaboration between Santa Pod Raceway and Camplify is one we hope will make attending events easier for our customers coming from afar. We are very excited to be one of the first companies to partner with Camplify so soon after their launch in the UK."

Camplify, one of the world's fastest growing, and Australia's largest, peer-to-peer caravan hire and RV-sharing community launched in the UK in 2017. In less than two years, Camplify grew to over 20,000 members in Australia and has connected thousands of holidaymakers with private owners of caravans, motorhomes and campers. The UK has over 800,000 registered RVs and the majority of them don't get used for more than two weeks per year.

You can find out more at www.camplify.co.uk/partnerships/santapod.


FAO Juniors attending NitrOlympX.
14th February: Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall tells us that he has received confirmation from Frans Steilberg that the Junior Stock Dragster 11.90 minimum ET and five-year recertification period for all Junior Dragster harnesses will be applied at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim on 17th-19th August.

If you have any queries then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail
ir.marshall@btconnect.com.

Taylor Motorsports recertification.
14th February: Kate Robinson has been in touch to let racers know that Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson Race Cars have been authorised by Taylor Motorsports to recertify their 4.1 transmission blankets, 7.1 engine diapers, 14.2 and 14.3 blower restraints and 32A-15 and 32A-20 race suits.

For further information please contact ARRC via their web site at www.robinson-race-cars.co or call 01256 880589 (outside the UK +44 1256 880589).


Swift snippets.
14th February: Hayley, Marra mom, Marra Dad and the rest of Limited Funz Racing asked us to say a huge Happy Birthday to the owners and drivers of the Wrathchild slingshot, Rob and Pete Brown aka Marra 1 and Marra 2. "Here's to a great race season and another year of amazing memories!", they say. Have a great day both.

UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting report.
11th February: The 2017 UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting took place this afternoon (Sunday) at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton. The official minutes of the meeting will be published in due course but these are the main points.

TECH CHANGES

There has been a change to the rule concerning blower restraints on Sportsman cars. Details can be found in the news item below this report.

Vehicles manufactured by a recognised mass motor manufacturer in 2010 or later, which run 10.00 seconds or slower and which do not exceed 149 mph will not require a roll cage providing that they have no modifications other than to the exhaust, air intake (not turbo or supercharger), ECU, drive train module, or upgraded brakes.

Due to governing body regulations electric cars, electric bikes and hybrids will not be permitted in any class in 2018. This will be continually reviewed but no electric or hybrid entries will be accepted this season.

UK CHAMPIONSHIPS

The dates of this year's ACU UK and UK National Drag Racing Championship rounds are listed below.

Shakespeare County Raceway announced on Eurodragster.com yesterday (Saturday) that the Springspeed Nationals will not be taking place. However the Open Sport Nationals remains on the calendar until advised otherwise. Whatever happens, APIRA membership will be valid in 2018 then will be reassessed for 2019.

From 2019 Santa Pod Raceway will hold Championship events over the early May and August Bank Holidays.

Entry forms for events at Santa Pod Raceway will be available tomorrow in PDF and Word format on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site at
www.eurodragster.com/sprc. Entry forms for the Festival of Power can be filled out and submitted electronically; if this is a success then it will be extended to other events.

Closing dates are listed on the entry forms and reminders will of course be posted here on Eurodragster.com.

All teams intending to field more than one driver or rider for the same vehicle must send a list of the season's drivers to Ian Marshall or Yvonne Tramm at SPRC before the Festival of Power.

It will no longer be possible to pay for entry in cash at an event.

Big Bang is an SPRC Championship round, not a UK National Championship round, round for 8.50 Bike and 9.50 Bike.

Super Street will again contest two sets of qualifying and eliminations, both of which will count for points, at the FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals. One entry fee covers both contests.

Junior Drag Bike will run as an FIM class at the FIA / FIM Main Event and the FIA / FIM European Finals.

To run in Sportsman ET at Bug Jam, a racer must have contested the class at least one preceding event this season.

Bug Jam will again be a non-points round for Lucas Oil Junior Dragster.

The two-day Redline Rumble will consist of two full one-day events (qualifying, eliminations, points and prize money each day) for Funny Bike, Comp Bike, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, ET Bike, Supertwin Top Gas and Junior Drag Bike. One entry fee covers both days; it will not be possible to enter for one of the two days.

Nostalgia Funny Car will appear at the Festival of Power, FIA / FIM Main Event, SPRC Summernationals, FIA / FIM European Finals and the UK National Finals.

Outlaw Flat Four will appear at Big Bang and Bug Jam.

Classes with consistently small fields will be reviewed although no class will be removed without an alternative for the racers involved (example cited was Super Street could move to Pro ET).

Cars MSA Pro
Modified
Super Pro
ET
Pro ET Sportsman
ET
Super
Comp
Super
Gas
Super
Street
Street
Eliminator
Junior
Dragster
Other
classes
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
30th March-1st April
Top Fuel Dragster, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch
Big Bang
Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th April
              Fuel FC, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four, FWD, Nostalgia Super Stock
FIA / FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
25th-28th May

FIA & MSA
 
double-header
FIA, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator
SPRC Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
30th June-1st July
Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
Bug Jam
Santa Pod Raceway
20th-22nd July
           
non-points
Fuel FC, Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Outlaw Flat Four
Mopar Euronationals
Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th July
                Nostalgia Super Stock (non-permit)
Open Sport Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
25th-27th August
  Outlaw Anglia, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock
FIA / FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-9th September

FIA & MSA
 
double-header
FIA, Fuel FC, Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator
UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-7th October
Nostalgia Fuel FC, Comp Eliminator, VW Pro, VW Sportsman, Wild Bunch, Nostalgia Super Stock, Outlaw Flat Four

Bikes Top Fuel
Bike
Pro Stock
Bike
Funny
Bike
Super Street
Bike
Comp
Bike
8.50
Bike
9.50
Bike
Junior Drag
Bike
Supertwin Top Gas ET Bike / NAST
Supertwin ET
Festival of Power
Santa Pod Raceway
30th March-1st April
Big Bang
Santa Pod Raceway
27th-29th April
         
SPRC only

SPRC only
 
FIA/FIM Main Event
Santa Pod Raceway
25th-28th May

FIM

FIM
 
FIM
     
FIM
   
SPRC Summernationals
Santa Pod Raceway
29th June-1st July
Redline Rumble
Santa Pod Raceway
18th-19th August
   
double-header
 
double-header

double-header

double-header

double-header

double-header

double-header
Open Sport Nationals
Shakespeare County Raceway
25th-27th August
 
NAST
FIA/FIM European Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-9th September

FIM

FIM
 
FIM
     
FIM
   
UK National Finals
Santa Pod Raceway
6th-7th October



EVENT ENTRY

Entry fees have been frozen this season.

Prize money has again been increased by 2% for this season.

2017 Santa Pod Racers Club Champions will again receive free entry to rounds at Santa Pod Raceway in 2018 with the exception of Top Fuel Bike, Supertwin Top Gas, Super Street, Comp Eliminator, Pro Stock Bike and Junior Drag Bike. Free entry applies even if you change classes. At FIA / FIM events SPRC will cover the equivalent of the National Championship entry fee for Pro Modified, Pro Stock Bike and Super Street Bike. In the case of teams with more than one driver, one team driver per event will receive the free entry. Pitside power must still be paid for. The free entry must be used during 2018.

For this year's SPRC Champions to receive free entry in 2019 there must have been an average of four bikes contesting events in Top Fuel Bike and an average of six vehicles in each other class.

Class Two-day event Three-day event Four-day event
MSA British Pro Modified; Top Fuel Dragster; Fuel Funny Car; Top Methanol; Nostalgia Funny Car £160 £170 n/a

NB FIA classes pay FIA fees for FIA European Championship events
ET classes; Super classes; Junior Dragster; Comp Eliminator; Topspeed Automotive Street Eliminator; VW classes; Outlaw Flat Four; Wild Bunch; Outlaw Anglia; Nostalgia Super Stock; other Sportsman car classes £130 £145 £170
ACU Top Fuel Bike £165 £170 n/a

NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
ACU Funny Bike; ACU Pro Stock Bike; ACU Comp Bike; ACU Super Street Bike; 9.50 Bike; 8.50 Bike; ACU Supertwin Gas; NAST Supertwin Gas; ACU ET Bike / NAST Supertwin ET; Junior Drag Bike £135 £150 n/a

NB FIM classes pay FIM fees for FIM European Championship events
Jet Car £155 £170 TBC
Exhibition £165 £170 TBC



PITSIDE POWER AT SANTA POD RACEWAY

Fees for single-phase power supply at Santa Pod Raceway have increased by £5 per event (not per day of event). The fees below will be frozen until 2020.

Event duration Single phase Three phase
2 days £50 £145
3 days £60 £155
4 days £75 £170



OTHER BUSINESS

The UK rule book is to be made available on the Santa Pod Racers Club web site. SPRC members will still receive a copy of the rule book on a USB memory stick.

The first 300 feet of concrete is scheduled to be laid at Santa Pod Raceway tomorrow (Monday).

Andy Robinson Race Cars is building a counter-rotating sled for track prep at Santa Pod Raceway.


UK blower restraint update.
11th February: Ian Marshall of Santa Pod Racers Club has been in touch with an update on blower restraint regulations for UK Sportsman racers:

Any Sportsman vehicle (non-FIA) running as quickly as 6.00 seconds, using a Roots-type supercharger which currently requires a restraint system, will now be able to run a SFI 14.1 restraint. This is regardless of running methanol or race gas. Nitromethane is of course a separate specification and still requires a 14.3 restraint. Previously some vehicles had to run the 14.2 restraint; these are still legal, but the slightly lower spec is now acceptable.

14.2 restraints are still mandatory in Comp Eliminator classes AA/BM, BB/AM and AA/PM.

Nomex strap covers are mandatory on vehicles running between 6.00 and 7.50 seconds on methanol, and are recommended on vehicles running between 6.00 and 7.50 seconds on race gas.

All other restraint systems remain as per the rule book.

If you have any queries then please get in touch with Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Shakespeare County Raceway statement.
10th February: We have received the following statement from Shakespeare County Raceway:

It is with regret that we have to inform the drag racing community that, at this time, due to planning constraints we are unable to fulfil our commitment to run our planned MSA/ACU APIRA Springspeed Nationals due to be held on the May Bank Holiday Weekend. We would like to thank all of the racing community from the National Championship for their support towards all the rounds held previously at Shakespeare County Raceway.

Further updates will be issued in due course.


Rockingham opens with No Prep Nationals.
10th February: The UK's Rockingham Drag Strip opens its doors for the first time on Monday 7th May hosting the Second Annual No Prep Doorslammer Nationals as well as drifting on the Motor Speedway's Outer Paddock and track action on the National Circuit. Paul Marston writes:

Rockingham Motor Speedway, near Corby, opened its doors in 2001 and was built to host many formulas including the CART Champ Car series. Over the years it has developed into a multi-purpose venue.

Rockingham Drag Strip is a temporary track on the pit road overlooked by the impressive Rockingham Building Grandstand, which houses just under 10,000 seats. After North Weald hosted the Gearhead Garage No Prep Doorslammer Nationals last July, Rockingham will host the Second Annual No Prep Doorslammer Nationals, again over the eighth-mile with no times and no speeds. This time there will be no Christmas Tree; in true Street Outlaw Racing style there will be a flashlight start, one winner, one loser. There will be no maximum car count as there was at North Weald, which was limited to sixteen. This will be an all-run field: if you enter, then you will run.


There will also be proper grudge racing and RWYB available; details of the format and all entry fees will be published soon. This is an Outlaw Track so things will be done a little differently. We have no restrictions and this is not a National event track, this is Street Outlaw-style racing in a safe environment, big cash prize money, put-up-or-shut-up drag racing.

The No Prep Doorslammers will run the same format as in 2017: two test hits then into eliminations, all names drawn out of a hat for elimination pairings and lane choice. Run to conclusion, guaranteed cash purses paid on the day to winner and runner-up.

To all the No Prep and drag racing fans out there: you are in for a great experience. There are great viewing areas available at Rockingham so come and check this place out, as you will not be disappointed. This facility truly is breathtaking. There are modern features which any competitor would expect from a professional facility including very-reasonable-to-rent pit garages with mains power, hard-standing parking areas, great hospitality opportunities and media facilities.


As you can imagine, there is a whole lot to be done when you start up a new track so please bear with us. But you can hopefully see that the focus is going to be on having a lot of fun. After all that's what it's all about, right? We will get more information to you as soon as we have it, there's not much time but this great sport needs this track and the track needs you. For this to be a success Rockingham Drag Strip needs your attendance and support to help put it on the map. We need marketing partners, sponsors, magazine coverage, race fans, competitors, and marshals. If you think you have something to offer then please let us know.

To register your interest for No Prep Doorslammers, grudge racing or RWYB please get in touch with us on 07831 650230, E-Mail pmdragracing@gmail.com or visit our new Rockingham Dragstrip Facebook page. Please also contact us for all enquiries from race series organisations or car clubs interested in attending.

I must thank the Rockingham team for all of their co-operation in making this happen.

Stay tuned for more information: there is a lot to tell you about this great new drag racing facility.


Rodman's ride.
10th February: Top Fuel Bike racer, Supertwin crew and acknowledged Marie Rose sauce connoisseur Al Smith tells us that Thursday's spy picture depicted Sean Rodman's new nitro twin which is nearing completion.



"The bike should be ready for its début at Easter", says Al. "It has a state-of-the-art 198 cubic inch motor by Johnny Vickers at Hawaya Racing, the same equipment currently being campaigned by Ricky House at Pomona."


The pictures show progress so far and Big Al has promised to keep us posted.


2018 Top Doorslammer calendar.
10th February: Many thanks to Martin Westerlund for sending us the calendar for the 2018 EDRS Top Doorslammer Series:

19th-20th May: Summit EDRS Members Memorial, Malmö Raceway
29th June-1st July: Sundsvall 1, Sundsvall Raceway
6th-8th July: Midnight Sun Drag Festival, Pite Dragway
27th-29th July: Mantorp Drag Revival, Mantorp Park
7th-9th September: Winter Nats, Malmö Raceway
22nd-23rd September: Night of Fire, Tierp Arena

You can find the official Top Doorslammer web site at www.topdoorslammer.com.


Swift snippets.
10th February: UK Pro ET racer Andy Thetford is proud to announce sponsorship from Thompson Elphick Chartered Accountants of Aylesford (01622 790055). After contesting one event in 2017 Andy plans to compete at all UK Championship rounds in 2018 toting a new Steve Schmidt motor. "It's all a bit strange as I said I would never own a race car!", says Andy. Talk to Colin Theobald about that one, Andy.

UK Pro Modified racer Chris Orthodoxou is seeking crew for his blown-alcohol Dodge Viper. "Previous experience with blown-alcohol engines, Racepak etc would be a big advantage", says Chris. "Essential attributes are enthusiasm, mechanical knowledge, reliable, and willing to lay under the sexiest race car you ever did see, in the cold, and working until stupid o'clock in the morning if required but, at the same time, a desire to have a bloody good laugh". For more information and contact details check out Drivers / Crew required on our Jeff Bull Race Engines-sponsored Swap Meet.

If you were tuned in to our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Autosport International coverage you will have read about the possibly-limited FIA European Championship and Nostalgia Slingshot plans of Danish Top Fuel Dragster racer Stig Neergaard. Stig has now announced the purchase of a Top Fuel Dragster chassis from John Force Racing and courtesy of our good buddy Remco Scheelings you can read more on the Drag Racing Europe Blog by clicking here.

Martin Wilson tells us that his extensive collection of drag racing memorabilia, which he put up for grabs here on Eurodragster.com News on 18th January, has all gone. "The response was unbelievable!", says Martin. "Everything has gone to fantastic new homes. Many thanks to Tim, Colin Theobald (the great man himself!) and the lovely Sarah. I do really appreciate Eurodragster.com helping me out, good luck for the new season". Thanks very much indeed Martin, you are very welcome.


NSRA seek help in DfT consultation.
10th February: Hannah Thomas writes on behalf of the National Street Rod Association seeking support against the latest threat to the UK hot rod, kit car and VW industry, namely the regulations for implementing EU emissions and safety rules, including new fuel consumption testing, and supply of defeat device penalties:

As you may be aware, there is new Department for Transport legislation in the pipeline that could greatly affect the UK hot rod, kit car and VW industry. Section 4.10 - 4.13 of the Air Quality and Safety consultation covers changes to cars going through IVA. This consultation proposes that for cars going through IVA, compliance with the MOT emissions standards current at the date of registration will be required, despite the use of an older engine. In other words, the current guidelines for emissions according to the age of the engine will no longer apply.

The introduction of SVA, and then IVA, allowed our industry to produce vehicles to a recognised safe standard, quite often using parts that are already manufactured and in circulation. The older style of engines being vital to the core appeal of the model, and / or the potential costs of fitting compliant engines being so expensive as to cause sales to fall to unsustainable levels.

As I'm sure you have noticed, on a day-to-day basis there are few classic cars on the roads, often reserved for special occasions, days out and perhaps limited touring during the summer months. It is not uncommon for these cars to have limited mileage insurance, typically 2000-6000 miles per year, with many not covering more than 1000 miles annually. The emissions impact by this small fleet of cars is so small and does not warrant the heavy-handed controls that are being considered.

It does seem that if there is sufficient pressure and clear, genuine reasons why this part of the legislation could be catastrophic to our industry, there is a fair chance it could be removed from the proposals, but it is up to UK car enthusiasts to respond! And fast – the consultation closes on 2nd March 2018.

The list of Consultees involved in producing this consultation doesn't actually contain any parties to do with the kit car / kit altered / radically altered vehicle scene. There seems to be a clear lack of understanding by the Consultation authors on what type of vehicle uses BIVA and DVLA rules for retaining original identity.

This does not only affect people building hot rods, kit cars and altered VWs in the future, but also those who have been building with the rules in mind for many years. Many projects take 5-10 years to build due to additional outlays and time restraints. This doesn't simply require an engine change but a redesign to create a whole new package. Purchase of new engines would be very costly, about £3,000 for four cylinders and upwards of £7,000 for a V8 without peripherals. Aftermarket ECUs are not sophisticated enough run to levels required. Radically Altered vehicles are based on modifying existing vehicles so the engine is already in use,rather than causing major pollution with new car production. This is ultimately recycling - keeping parts in use rather than causing major pollution with new car production. Even if you have currently on the road; if it is ever written off in the future, it would then have to be rebuilt to BIVA specifications regardless of what engine it currently has and therefore it would have to conform to these emissions tests. This consultation will affect far more people than those currently building projects now.

Note current at date of registration - for now, that means 2018. As the years go forward and regulations change, so will the requirements to be met, i.e. one simple change to upgrade specs and it's game over for an entire UK industry.

If this legislation were implemented, it will affect businesses sufficiently that they might have to close. Many have small workshops and not a vast workforce, but all have many times that number indirectly employed who have specialist skills and rely on the popular kit car and hot rod market. It will kill a multi-million pound industry stone dead.

Here at the National Street Rod Association, along with other key stakeholders, we are doing everything we can to spread awareness of the impact this will have on the UK car scene and are doing all we can to preserve our way of life. We are asking if you are able to create awareness of this consultation, assist us in asking people to respond urgently in the hope that the legislation will not come into law.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 6.
9th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

The final shortlist is the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer trophy, for the most promising newcomer to contest events at Shakespeare County Raceway, was presented for the first time in 2012 and is posted by Graham, Edel and Gabrielle McDonald. The shortlist for the McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer trophy, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Andy Ball (ET Bike)
Vote for Andy Ball

Ian Dance (VW Sportsman)
Vote for Ian Dance

Leah Kellett (Super Comp)
Vote for Leah Kellett

Guy King (Nostalgia Super Stock, Pro ET)
Vote for Guy King

Holley Walters (Sportsman ET)
Vote for Holley Walters

Amy, Neil and Tom Watkins (Nostalgia Super Stock)
Vote for the Watkins family

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

Voting closes at 23:59 UK next Friday (16th).


Swift snippets.
9th February: Courtesy of photo-journalist Mike Collins is a preview of his Hot Gossip column from the February edition of Street Machine magazine...


...together with a look back at a column from November which features legendary Rocket pilot and British Drag Racing Hall of Fame member Slammin' Sammy Miller.


UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting update.
8th February:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with an important message for those attending this Sunday's UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting at the Hilton Hotel in Northampton:

If any National or SPRC Champions who are coming to the Riders' and Drivers' Meeting did not collect their trophy or (for SPRC Champions) jacket at the recent SPRC Dinner Dance then please contact me at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 and I will bring them to the meeting to be presented.

The UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting commences at 12:30 at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton, on the eastbound A45 just off Junction 15 of the M1 (postcode is NN4 0XW, map). For more information please see our news item of 12th January.


VP Racing Fuels back Doorslammers.
8th February: Santa Pod Raceway are delighted to announce VP Racing Fuels as the latest sponsor for the new featured event in their 2018 event calendar - the Doorslammers on 19th-20th May. VP will not only be the official fuel supplier to the event but will also take title sponsorship of the Pro Doorslammer class. This class prize pot is worth £20,000 and is sure to attract some of the fastest doorslammer entries from across Europe.  

"With VP's strong involvement and ties with street racing in the US, the association with the Doorslammers event is a natural fit to support a new featured event at Santa Pod Raceway", says VP's International Sales Manager Marc Wesler.  "Santa Pod Raceway is a great partner and continues to help expose the VP brand to the European market.  We are excited to be the official fuel for the event and title sponsor of the Pro Doorslammer class."

 VP Racing Fuels have been an Official Partner to Santa Pod for the last eight years providing fuel solutions for drag racing teams across a number of classes. Santa Pod recently forged a new partnership with them as the venue chose VP Fuels as their preferred supplier of track glue. Their product Lane Choice 5 (LC5) is now an established weapon in Santa Pod's track armoury and will continue to play a significant role in the launch of the brand new concrete drag strip.


Swift snippets.
8th February: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com came with the words "More to follow!". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Good luck and stay safe to Jonnie Lindberg, Julie Nataas, Fred Hanssen and Ulf Leanders who are contesting this weekend's Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona. Top Alcohol qualifying commences at 00:00 UK / 01:00 European tonight and you will be able to stay in touch with our heroes' progress courtesy of the Drag Race Central web site at www.dragracecentral.com.


RedZone Betting on Doorslammers.
6th February: Santa Pod Raceway are very pleased to welcome RedZoneSports, who specialise in American Sports, as their betting partner for the upcoming Doorslammers on 19th-20th May. RedZoneSports are offering some great incentives for Doorslammers and drag racing fans which you can find at www.redzonesports.bet/santapod.


There's a long standing association between betting and drag racing; teams and fans alike can be heard making predictions on the results of races. Warren Llambias, Co-Founder of RedZoneSports.bet said "We are excited to join with Santa Pod and become part of the wider drag racing fraternity. As the British home of this particular American sport we hope, working closely with our TrakBak partners, to find ways to enhance the unique thrill of drag racing!"

Santa Pod are also very pleased to announce that entries are now open for the event and that the first cars have already entered. It's already looking like an event to remember! You can enter and/or view the current entry list at www.thedoorslammers.co.uk.


Swift snippets.
6th February: We have posted our provisional Event Coverage schedule including those webcasts planned so far. More event will be added. The schedule can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. We are undergoing formal sponsorship renewals at present but a big Thank You to Dave Riswick who has already confirmed that John Woolfe Racing will again be sponsoring our Event Coverage in 2018.

Web site updates.
6th February: Our good buddy photo-journalist Steve Moxley has had a report and pictures from the UK National Finals posted on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.

APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 5.
5th February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The latest shortlist is the Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy. The founder of the National Drag Racing Club, Alan Wigmore was dedicated to every aspect of the sport at home as well as in America. As Chairman of the NDRC Alan got to do just about every job there was to organise as well as run race events. This Award is presented in Alan's memory to the chosen individual who has shown the same dedication, spirit and enthusiasm for the sport which Alan showed in his years in drag racing.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Scott Cooper (VP Racing UK Drag Karts)
Vote for Scott Cooper

Phil, Brett and Jasmine Cordelle (ACU Drag Bike)
Vote for the Cordelle family

Robbie Dobbie and Dave Smart (ET Bike)
Vote for Robbie Dobbie and Dave Smart

Dave Rowlands (Shakespeare County Raceway track prep)
Vote for Dave Rowlands

Luke Stevenson (Volkswagen Drag Racing Club)
Vote for Luke Stevenson

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The final category, McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer, will be posted this Friday (9th).


APIRA Trophy Night update.
5th February: Jerry Cookson of Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch with a reminder that Saturday 17th February is the deadline for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and the National Association of Supertwins Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place at 18:00 on Saturday 3rd March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (on Junction 15 of the M40).

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel at £90 for a double or £80 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. To book your room please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the web site at www.hilton.com/warwick quoting reference code ASRAS. Cut off for bedroom bookings at the special rate is twenty eight days prior to arrival.

Jerry asks that any 2017 APIRA Champions or runners-up who know that they will not be able to make the Trophy Evening E-Mail him at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at  www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February.

If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.


Close enough to go again.
5th February: Andy Frost and the Red Victor team returned to Bahrain in January to continue the quest for a five-second pass with a street legal car, and then to go for Jeff Lutz' ET and speed records for a quarter mile in a street-legal car. Frosty writes:

As before ace tuner and good friend Shane Tecklenburg was in the house, and determined to get Red Victor 3 hauling down the track and running how it should. The consensus outside our camp was that there was no way that a 2965 lb car could ever achieve the numbers we were after, and we were after proving those naysayers wrong.

Of course, all of this isn't easy. Shipping the car and truck 5000 miles, getting the crew there, sourcing stolen items, fixing broken trucks, fixing the car, shipping the upgraded engine and trans and spares are all consuming. But we signed up for it, so it just has to get dealt with without fuss or drama so that we can carry on with the task in hand.

The team of Deb, Gary, Badger and myself, along with 5 Second Club members Nick Bradley and Nik Wadsworth (and Gurmeet Dhanjal later on) got there early to refit the engine and trans, check the car over and get it ready to make a test lap. Four days later, after a host of niggly problems which needed fixing, we got done. We found out that leaving a car standing for a year doesn't do it any good, although at least it was standing out of the sun!

We got a few test laps under our belt (albeit with tyre shake / spin) and continued to get further down the track as we learnt things from the data. We eventually managed to run the full quarter to get a baseline on the new Lamude Racing-built engine. This told us that the engine was in good shape, and more importantly that the tune-up was incredibly safe! In fact so safe that it wasn't actually making any power of note. As we were having issues with the suspension and wheelie bar we decided not to bother with the sixty foot time and to concentrate on 330 feet onwards to try to reach that initial goal.

Shane set about chipping fuel and adding timing in small increments till the plugs looked like they had actually fired, so we would gain some more power. Our initial test lap was 6.36, then 6.18, 6.04, 6.03 then finally 6.022/250.92 which put us 0.18 seconds and 0.5 mph off the record, and tantalisingly close to our initial goal of 5.999. This paid dividends when we realised how much power this standard bore space Chevy engine with the Precision 102 mm Pro Mod turbos made! By weight and speed right around 3650 hp and the seventy per cent level we are at now. Not so bad!

The next run was going to be the one, but as always in this sport of ours something has to give. This time the pinion stripped its teeth at around 150ft. Unfortunately this was the last day of racing at the Bahrain International Circuit, and because with diff breakage comes trans breakage we just ran out of time trying to fix to get another run. Damn...

The team's initial reaction was so near and yet so far, and that it was time to pack up and come home. But our loyal supporters in the 5 Second Club, along with our main sponsor R-Tech Welding Equipment, were having none of it. They had been watching team member Andy Betsons's live video for two weeks and had followed the ups and downs minute by minute. They wanted us to come back and get the job finished, so within a week they raised enough for us to go back (without going broke).

So, the team are going back for one last go at Round 5 of the BDRC Championship on 6th-9th March. We will arrive there a week earlier to get the new diff - supplied and built by Hauser Racing - in the car, and to make the changes we want to make as well plus check the whole car over. This will include replacing the prop, slip yoke, valve springs (9600 rpm on the limiter when the diff broke) and then we can get a couple of test laps on the last day of Round 4. We are confident we'll be in the fives very soon after that, then we will do what is necessary to shoot for the ET and speed records. Of course only the timing slip counts...

Of course, doing something like this cannot be done by the team alone. It takes the help of sponsors and supporters to do it, and we couldn't ask for better in ours. Thank you to all of these companies and people who have helped and supported our quest for the last three years and more: the Red Victor 5 Second Full Members Club, Lamude Racing Engines, R-Tech Welding Equipment, Tuned by ShaneT, Precision Turbo and Engine, Turbosmart UK, E Kanoo Racing and Logistics, UTrackTV, VP Racing Fuels, Pro Alloy Motorsport, Goodridge Ltd, Cam Auto Developments, Steve Morris Engines, Belistore, Turbowerx, KA Sensors, Total Seal Piston Rings, Diamond Pistons, Manton Pushrods, Red Line Oils, Zircotec, Neal Chance Converters, Hutch Transmissions, Victory Performance, Powerlite Performance Electronics, WallworkHT, Wilson Manifolds, Precision Shaft Technologies, Prestige Group, Visner Engine Development, Trackstuff UK, Cartek Motorsport Electronics, Pro Torque, MSK Racing, Braille Batteries, Magnecor, Club Calibra and Plastics4Performance.

And finally Thank You to Adel Shaji, Hamad Shahabi and all the Bahrain Drag Racing Club guys, and Bahrain International Circuit who have accommodated our every need, and literally treated us like royalty every time we went to the track! Hope you keep watching...


2018 European Top Gas calendar.
4th February: Many thanks to Herman Jolink for forwarding us the calendar for the 2018
European Top Gas Series.

19th-20th May: Malmö Raceway, Sweden (eighth-mile)
1st-3rd June: Speed Days King of Germany, Alkersleben, Germany (eighth-mile)
23rd-24th June: Drag Day 1, Hoskovice, Czech Republic
27th-29th July: DHRA Main Event, Drachten, The Netherlands
17th-19th August: NitrOlympX, Hockenheim, Germany
31st August-1st September: Mosten Race Days, Allingaboro, Denmark (eighth-mile)

The best five of six events will count for Championship points. The Winter Nationals at Malmö Raceway on 7th-9th September is listed as a spare race.

Stay tuned as Herman has also kindly sent pictures from the recent Top Gas Series presentation. We will post these pictures very shortly.


Year 11 of the Challenge.
4th February: 2017 marked the tenth year of Germany's Super Pro ET Challenge, making it the longest-running drag racing Series in continental Europe. The organisers of the Super Pro ET and Pro ET Challenges joined forces, forming the Drag Race Union. Our good buddy Markus Münch writes:


The 2017 Super Pro ET Challenge winner was Oliver Petzold of Team Schumann Motorsport in his Roadster Corvette. He took a well-deserved win after a disturbing 2016 season with many gremlins in the car, preventing the team from runnign fast and consistent. The runner-up was Stefan Eisenhauer from Germany, third was Simon Rudiferia from the Südtirol and fourth was Enrico Bailo from Italy. So you can see that the challenge is an international affair. It mainly turned out that points were collected at Hockenheim, Rivanazzano and Clastres as well as at Drachten and Santa Pod Raceway. For 2018 we have an English entry for the first time ever alongside German, Swiss, Italian and French teams.

We truly thank our sponsors and supporters who add the salt. Thanks for their support in 2017 to Turboscheune.com, the Bavarian Drag Race Club, Spedition Schumann, Rechsteiner Bedachungen, Racepoint.it, Team 74 Bruckmüller, Eisenhauer KFZ Service and Tuttifix.ch.

Preperations for 2018 season are fully underway. Click here to read the rules, terms and conditions to participate in the Challenge in both German and English (PDF format). If you want to be part of the Challenge as a sponsor then give us a shout.

Information is spread throughout our web site at www.suproet.de and on our Facebook page.


Swift snippets.
4th February: UK Fuel Funny Car racer Steve Ashdown has asked us to say a big Thank You to Dave Robey of Robey Scaffolding (07931 501235) and to Gary Brooks of Fast2Finish Printers (0208 659 1119) for their continued sponsorship for the 2018 season. "These guys have been with me since I started in Rune Fjeld's Top Fuel Dragster in 2016", says Steve. "Without the continued help and support of companies like these I couldn't participate in this great sport we all love."

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below left) came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.


Alan Martin writes that things are well underway for the 25th Annual NSRA Nostalgia Nationals at Santa Pod Raceway on 11th-13th May. "Plenty of the traditional track action, possibly even a few surprises thrown in for good measure", says Alan. "The DJ and bands are booked, as is the Saturday courtesy bus to Rushden Lakes, so all is looking good. It goes without saying that there will be plenty of track time for all of you to put your cars through their paces. Just to whet your appetite here's a sneak preview of this year's must-have T-Shirt. All you have to do now is to pencil the dates in your diary and we will see you all at Santa Pod. For updated information, or to book tickets, visit www.nostalgianationals.com."


Feature: Man Cup World Finals.
2nd February: The latest in our occasional series of Features presented in association with Lucas Oil Products is photo-journalist Steve Moxley's account of the Man Cup World Finals in Valdosta, which included a sizeable contingent of European racers.

You can take a look by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Moxey's report on the FIA / FIM European Finals is now showing on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com.


Swift snippets.
2nd February: Bob Hancox writes that the Debbie Hancox Memorial Trophy, awarded to the team showing the most spirit and inspiration Outlaw Anglia class and voted for by the class' drivers and crew, was presented to Cliff Griffin at last weekend's Trophy Presentation. "We have made the difficult decision to end the trophy this year", says Bob on behalf of himself, Carole and Fiona. "We would like to thank everyone for their support and we congratulate not only Cliff as the final recipient but all of the the teams who have received the trophy over the last eleven years."

Further to Wednesday's news item, Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren adds that he is seeking a clutch mechanic for the FIA / FIM Main Event and FIA / FIM European Finals and other FIA rounds if interested. For more information you can call Michael on +46 72 157 1414 or E-Mail michael.malmgren@anebyhusgruppen.se.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 4.
2nd February: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The latest shortlist is the APIRA Endeavour Award which is presented to a racer, team, supporter or member of the media in recognition for services rendered over the last twelve months, as well as their overall support of Avon Park International Racing Association and Shakespeare County Raceway.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

The Coulsell family (The Wild Bunch)
Vote for the Coulsell family

Andy Hadfield aka Fadster (Supercharged Outlaws)
Vote for Andy Hadfield

Steve Moxley (Media)
Vote for Steve Moxley

Dave Smith (Media)
Vote for Dave Smith

Graham Smith (Tri-Chevy Shootout)
Vote for Graham Smith

Team Wrathchild (The Wild Bunch)
Vote for Team Wrathchild

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories will be posted as follow:

Monday 5th February: Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy
Friday 9th February: McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer


Racers invited to StuntFest.
1st February: James Forster of
Santa Pod Raceway writes to invite racers to bring their vehicles to StuntFest on Saturday 17th February:

StuntFest is an arena-based family fun day with stunts, jumps, monster trucks, a jet car, side shows and more. We're inviting racers from any class to take part in a static display for anyone wanting to put themselves, their vehicle and their sponsors in front of a family audience.

For anyone for whom a static display isn't quite enough, we're also happy to accommodate burnouts as part of the arena show. Last year we had Nigel Hale in his Street Eliminator C30 pick-up smoke out the arena, and he's looking to return in 2018. If you'd like to join him in burning rubber please do get in touch.

If you'd like to attend please contact James on 01234 782828 or E-Mail james@santapod.com. For more information on StuntFest please see www.stuntfest.co.uk.


Malmgren takes a curve.
31st January: Swedish Pro Stock racer Michael Malmgren is set for 2018 after what he says was a pretty good 2017:

We were pleased considering the tough competition. We had a good shot at runner-up spot for a while but due to a tyre problem at Hockenheim we lost to a strong-running Stefan Ernryd in the first round and that ruined our chances. So then we focused on securing third place, Thomas Lindström was too far back to catch us. So #3 on the Black Devil is OK, much better than our achievment in 2016.

Our Bob Ingles engine performed very well and we had no issues whatsoever during 2017. This gave us a boost for 2018. The engine is back at Bob's shop in NY and he is working on more power and will give it a slightly different power curve which we believe will be better, so things ae looking good there.

All of this would be impossible without the support of our USA Performance parts manufactors Strange Engineering, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance, Victory Valves, Dynotech Driveshafts, ARP Fasteners, MSD Ignition, Fel Pro, Speed Pro, Aeromotive Fuel System, VP Racing Fuels, Braswell Carburators, Richmond Gears, PAC Valve Springs and MBE Cylinder Heads.

I have a very good team who all take this very seriously and they will all be with me again in 2018: Bjarne Cox, Kent Jonson, Kent Eriksson, Tomas Jonsson, Michaela Malmgren and Monica Bengtsson.

We will do some pre-season testing at Malmö Raceway so that we are ready to dump the clutch at the new Santa Pod super track at the end of May.


Swift snippets.
31st January: Darren Orthodoxou writes that Robin Orthodoxou and his Comp Eliminator altered team are ready for 2018 but that this season may be their last. "We are on track to get the car finished on time", says Darren. "However after to a death in the family over 2017 European Finals weekend the house where our racing operation is based is to be sold. This means that we are without a racing headquarters, nowhere to store the car, equipment or van and we are not in a position financially to rent a space large enough. Unless we have some kind of miracle or someone can help us we are screwed and may have to sell up. It kills me because I haven't even managed to get into the hot seat."


Thanks to MSA British Championship PR Robin Jackson for forwarding us these shots of Pro Modified racer and Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson collecting his 2017 MSA British Drag Racing Championship trophy at the MSA's Trophy Evening at the Royal Automobile Club on Saturday. Above left Andy is presented with his trophy by FIA Deputy President (Sport) Graham Stoker.


All welcome to the Isle.
31st January: Ian Merryweather writes that the Manx Drag Racing Association and Straightliners invite all two- and four-wheeled racers to race at Jurby on the Isle of Man:

There are three two-day events to choose from:

7th-8th April: Season Opener
30th May-1st June: Tynwald Drags
1st-2nd September: Pokerstars Drag Fest


Jurby Raceway has undergone many changes over the years but none more so than in 2017 with a new track location and layout and new concrete start line. In July 2017 the Gasser Circus were first to lay down the rubber, followed by a bunch of Outlaws from the Supercharged and Anglia brigade at the September Pokerstars Drag Fest. The new start line instantly paid dividends with each racers' runs bettering their last. The track record of 9.4 seconds, set by Ben Rushforth in V12-powered Jag altered the previous year, was bettered by Sam Freeman at the Pokerstars Drag Fest on his first run down the quarter at 8.98/135 then he raised the bar on every run to finish the weekend with a record of 8.78/163.


There is also the opportunity to take in one of the UK's most beautiful destinations for a short holiday break. Visit www.visitisleofman.com and see that the Isle of Man could be what you are looking for. A package deal with the ferry company Isle of Man Steampacket Holidays offers racers discounts for these events but you must book using the E-Mail info@steampacketholidays.com or phone 01624 645777 and ask for the Straightliners Drag Racing event package for the weekend you wish to attend.

The main concern which racers have is the cost of the ferry, however if you plan to take in a long weekend break you will without doubt enjoy it. Although packages are available they are limited due to the increasing popularity of the motorsport events on the Island. The TT in June and Classic TT / MGP in August plus rallying, trials, cycling, hillclimbing and many other weekend events keep the Steampacket busy through the year so booking early is the way to go. The Tynwald Drags 30th May - 1st June offers the best availability as it does not clash with any other major island event.

Do your homework and take in all the Island has to offer. Oh and one other thing, for those who have street-legal cars there is no speed limit when you see the National Speed Limit sign! Expect twisty roads and please drive sensibly as we want you all to go home and spread the word with a huge smile on your face.


APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 3.
29th January: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The latest shortlist is the APIRA / Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year trophy which recognises the efforts of women in 2017 as racers, crew members or track officials.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Jo Clarke (NAST / ET Bike Co-ordinator)
Vote for Jo Clarke

Nina Coombes (SCR Bracket Gamblers)
Vote for Nina Coombes

Kirsten van Croonenborgh (Supercharged Outlaws)
Vote for Kirsten van Croonenborgh

Hayley Fyfe (Wild Bunch)
Vote for Hayley Fyfe

Holly Sanders (VW Sportsman)
Vote for Holly Sanders

Philippa Turton (Wild Bunch)
Vote for Philippa Turton

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories will be posted as follow:

Friday 2nd February: APIRA Endeavour Award
Monday 5th February: Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy
Friday 9th February: McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer


SPRC Presentation gallery.
29th January: The official Trophy Presentation pictures from Saturday evening's SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation are now available. The gallery, which is presented in association with Lucas Oil Products, can be checked out by clicking here or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Copies of any picture are free and can be obtained by E-Mailing tog@eurodragster.com with the image number.

Many thanks to photographer Julian for his hard work on Saturday night.


SPRC Perpetual Award winners.
28th January: The winners and runners-up in the 2017 UK National Championships, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, and Santa Pod Racers Club Championships were presented with their trophies at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation in Daventry last night (Saturday). The winners of SPRC's Perpetual Awards, for whom Eurodragster.com readers had the chance to vote, were also presented with their trophies.

Congratulations to the SPRC Perpetual Award winners:

Most Promising Newcomer: Leah Kellett (Super Comp)
Best Appearing Car: Jon Webster (Pro Modified)
Best Appearing Bike: Neil Midgley (Supertwin, owned by Chris Hannam)
Most Professional Appearing Team: Voodoo Hemi Racing (Pro Modified)
James Edgar Memorial Trophy: Luke Robinson (Pro Modified)
Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy: Simon Groves

John Ledster Memorial Trophy: Steve Horn
Obsession Motorsports Sportsman of the Year Trophy: Jeff Bull

A big Thank You to everyone who submitted votes for the SPRC Perpetual Awards.


Brute Force and ignorance.
27th January: 2017 Santa Pod Racers Club Champion Andy Harrison has been in touch to tell us how he got to that point:

The phone rings, "Hi ya Paul, how's tricks? What you found a Super Gas car? Next week, Chesterfield? Okay".

It started in 2010. I had been visiting Santa Pod as a spectator for a number of years, I recall the first pass I ever saw. Walking over the bank from the car park with my mate to see Eric Teboul on the starting line. Three, two, one, and with a roar a cloud of vapour and a cheer from the crowds, he launched and moved so fast down the track, my eyes could barely keep up with him. Well that was it, I only live in Bedford so why had it taken so long for me to visit. My brother had been occasionally crewing for Steve Pateman and Ray Comer in Street Eliminator, and was always banging on about how good it was there, and for someone like me with a healthy / obsessive passion for cars and mechanics, should go one weekend and check it out. So I did, and from then on, I would visit whenever possible. After my parents moved to Spain, I bought the family caravan and began staying for weekends with the family. I just loved the adrenalin that seemed to be constantly in the air, and walking around the pits talking to the crew and drivers of all classes. I was amazed how approachable everyone was and they always seemed to have time for everyone, chatting about their machines, and almost becoming mates after returning time and time again to show my support.

This is sort of how I met Paul Brown. He was racing in Super Comp with the at the time Dunster House-sponsored rail. I was walking around the pits as usual, when my daughter noticed a Michael R Peters sticker on the front of the car. "Look Daddy", she said, "that's where grandad works". I went over and got chatting, before long we were popping in on the way past for a cuppa, and over the next couple of years became good friends with Paul and his crew, namely his mum Lesley, dad Dave, and Lee. We had more in common than first appeared, as Lesley in years past had lived in the next street to me, and Dave was friends with one of my old work colleagues. Paul sold the rail to Conrad Stanley as he had purchased a new car from the States and spent the next year getting used to it. I would always pop past and occasionally offered my services when there were issues and he needed the extra hand. Before long I was an honorary member of the crew, which was made official the following year when Paul had decided to try and use his MSD Grid and its data logging potential so sort out an issue which had been plaguing them but wasn't too sure how to use it. I was a bit of a computer geek and was like a pig in crap plugging the laptop in after each run and analysing the data.

The next year Paul decided to bring another car over from the States to flip. A good deal came up and by March he owned two cars. We took it to the track and made a few passes to check her out. "You know what Paul", I said, "I would love to have a go down the track in that. He promised me that once things had calmed down and the season was underway, we would come down on a RWYB and I could have a go. Well the rest of the season went well for Paul, he was fighting for the Championship when disaster struck. I remember vividly standing at the start line watching his run. Usually once the time had come up on the boards, we would turn round and make our way back to the pits, however for some reason I had decided to turn back and check he had made it off the top end. To my horror, I just saw the outline of his car sideways across the track heading towards the wall, then disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Unfortunately that was it for the Shorty. Paul was absolutely fine other than a bit banged up, somehow didn't put me off wanting to have a go though. Plan B came into force and Paul finished the season in the new car which was still up for sale.

March 2016, one evening the phone rings, it is Paul. He asks, and quite abruptly, "Are you serious about wanting to race?". Slightly knocked back by this, I thought for a second and gingerly said "Yer, why?". "I've found you a car and we are going to see it next week, it's in Chesterfield and bring cash! Call this guy and let him know you're interested". I did so immediately and called Rick Johnson. I could barely understand him, but he seemed a nice guy and I spoke to him on and off over the next week asking about details of the car etc. A couple of weeks later, Paul and I were driving back to Bedford, trailer behind with what was now my race car. Right well I had better get a firesuit then. It took a while to get everything sorted, but by the end of the year we had everything together and decided to take her out for my maiden flight.


Not long after I bought her home we took her to a RWYB at Santa Pod with the intention of just firing her up and checking everything was OK. I will never forget the first time she roared into life. My eyes streaming with the alcohol fumes but I was addicted, and just wanted to go up the track now, but something wasn't quite right. Every time I tried to blip the throttle, she seemed to stutter. I concluded she was just too cold and wasn't too concerned, however after checking the lash again once I got home, found a broken valve spring, argh!

A few days later I received an E-Mail from Ian Marshall. Apparently the guy who originally commissioned and campaigned the car was trying to get hold of me. I gave my details to Ian, who kindly passed them on to Mike Bentley, followed by a phone call from another Northerner. After speaking to Rick for some time now, my ear was getting tuned into the accent so when Mike called I was pleasantly surprised that I could not only understand him, but chatted for hours about the car and learned he was the guy who originally commissioned the car with Zane Lewellyn and Timmy Heins and had been very successful in Super Street before upgrading the motor and running in Super Gas. We spent hours unsuccessfully trying to source the same springs, but after some assistance from Hauser Race Cars we managed to find something suitable, and they were promptly installed.

It was late in the season by now, but I was determined to take her down the track at least a few times before winter. We fired her up and drove down to the pairing lanes. I had rehearsed the routine for the burnout in my mind for months, but this was it. I was called forward, and Paul guided me into the bleach box. Deep breath, "Pump the brake pedal, and stamp on it like it was the head of the guy who had just done bad things to your sister"... I clearly remember Rick quoting this, So I did and pressed the line lock button and watched for Paul's instruction. He gave me the sign and very nervously I fed in the loud. Instantly the back lit up and as I stared at the tacho. The car just sat there, well behaved and surprisingly far less dramatic than I had anticipated. Paul indicated me to come forward and I rolled out. OK so that bit went well, now for stage two, the run. The plan was to ignore the lights, and when I felt ready, just come off the brake, and gently feed in the power to get a feel of things. Remember I had never driven anything on a track before. A good friend of mine has had some really fast road cars, Porsche, Bentley and a Ferrari to name a few, and have been lucky enough to drive them, however nothing can prep you for what was about to happen. I lifted the brake and she started to roll forward, I fed in the power and immediately the car which seemed to be a well behaved, placid lady turned into an angry gnarly beast and all hell broke loose. Heading slightly towards the wall I backed off and she came back into line. I had another go and same thing happened, but now considerably faster, it didn't feel stable at all. I made it through the top end and back to the pits. For the first time I started to doubt myself and wasn't sure if this was really for me, however Paul wasn't going to give up on me, and with his tutoring and endless encouragement we ran the car again a few more times until winter stopped play.


The week before Easter 2017, we had planned to licence as I had entered the Festival of Power, and by now I had managed to get the car under power for most the way down the track. Unfortunately Paul couldn't make the RWYB so Tom Margesson and my brother stepped in. We got to the track and I strolled off to sign in and find Ian Marshall to let him know I would like to licence. I found him by the Glue Bird and went for a chat, and present my intention. "OK", Ian said, "and what class are you licencing in?". "Super Gas" I proudly announced. "And you have never licenced in anything else before" he said, with what seemed like a little nervousness in his voice. "No" I answered. I recall the feeling of "What have I done" came over me. Ian took me through the routine and said that when I was ready I should come through the pairing lanes for a burnout and the first of the three passes.

Passes one and two were a doddle dragging the chute behind me for the first time, however Ian now wanted to see a full pass as close to 9.90 as I could. The tree dropped and I let off the transbrake, pedal planted to the floor. The weekend before we had tried a full run off the tranbrake, but the tyres just kept lighting up so we had dropped the launch RPM massively, but we forgot to change it back so I knew I would have to run without the stop and hope that the car would hook to have any chance of a decent time. I came off the line, tyres immediately smoked and the front made a beeline for the wall. Attempt number two went even worse. We had forgotten to turn the gas on and ended up burning out and running all the way down the track without full accelerator. Run three and this time I got off the line, speed picking up nicely, but at the gear change the horizon changed and the gantry was replaced with wall again. I managed to pedal it, but was way off the mark. I was beginning to understand Ian's concerns. Back at the pits we made an adjustment to the four link and rolled around for another go. 10.2, now that was more like it. Getting close now, and I was getting my confidence however the day was drawing in and all the RWYB guys were heading off home, but Ian was adamant he was going to licence me, and let me have one last go.

This was it. If I wanted to play with the boys the following week, it was now or never. She hooked, quite softly as I was still running the low RPM, but importantly she didn't spin the tyres. It felt good so far, past the eighth and through the gear change without any drama. The gantry came up way faster than I expected and through to the turn-off at the end. Back at the pits my brother strolled up with a Cheshire Cat grin on his face. "You only did a bloody 9.6!"

Festival of Power 2017 and my very first proper event in the Al's Gasser Super Gas Shootout. I had been to many events by now, but the pomp and circumstance seemed greatly amplified as I was actually a part of the show. My first competitive run ever was against Mark White. Really nice chap who I had been chatting to in the pits, and like everyone else in Super Gas he had welcomed me and given me all the encouragement I needed. I was reasonably comfortable in the car by now, and ran a 9.95 against Mark's 9.99 which until the end of the session had me #1 then Jon Morton knocked me down to #2. I was ecstatic and now completely hooked. I ran Paul Marston in Q2, then Tim Moore in Q3 and Q4. I was astonished that my numbers were right up there with them and ended up qualifying #6 of ten convinced that it was he car, not me. E1 and paired up with Jon Morton. Good light by both of us and as we came close to the stripe, Jon came hurtling past. "Damn", I thought to myself, "I must have put too much stop in". Just as fast as Jon flew by, he stood on the brakes and disappeared from view. We both broke out, but Jon's being the less he got the win. Respect due, my first lesson in finish line racing.


Main Event and things were going great. The car was running consistently and my lights were getting better. Made it through round one, due to what was quickly becoming my race partner Mark White failing to show, so on to round two and paired with someone I had never heard of, Tony Morris. Ex-pat Tony was being hosted by Paul Marston. Paul Brown started to fill me in with the details, and rather than being disappointed that I was inevitably going to be ass-whipped by the Whoopass Monza and this American NHRA legend, I think that for the first time my racing instinct hit and I actually became excited to race this guy knowing that there was always a chance. Unfortunately not this time, but wow what a race. I was now totally at home in the car, driving it was second nature, and I spent most of my runs looking sideways out the window at my opponent. I could see Tony running me down, and with the finesse of a well-rehearsed play, took the stripe with an exceptionally judged 9.91 versus my 9.83 breakout, and amazingly only eleven inches in it. Well done Tony and thanks for the opportunity.


The rest of the year seemed to fly by, and by now I was getting to know many of the Super Gas racers and lot of the guys and girls from Santa Pod and Shakey. European Finals and normal business resumes. First outing and I was well off the pace. The weather was rubbish and everyone was struggling, however what was to happen next changed everything for me. We had made a few calcs back in the pit and eventually decided upon the stop number. Got ourselves ready and made our way down to the pairing lanes. Earlier on in the season Paul had suggested to moving my transbrake button from its current location and putting it on the steering wheel, convinced it would give better reactions. What a difference it made. I was beginning to get far more consistent, 0.03 and 0.04 lights, and this run was no exception with a 0.0266. I rapidly learned that you can feel a good run, and by no means was this one shabby. I was running against Ronald Huis in the House Bros Chevy. As he runs Comp as well as Gas his stop was on for far longer so I only caught sight of him way after 1000 foot mark. We went through the stripe with Ronald quite a bit ahead of me, and thought I had put way too much stop in her. As I turned off at the top end, I always give the marshals a thumbs up, as they do to me, just to acknowledge that the car is OK and I'm not pouring oil or worse, however this time they were all clapping. "Strange", I thought. As I came down through the pits, random people were giving me the thumbs up, and as I turned into my pit, Paul and Lesley were on their hands and knees bowing down. OMFG! I had only gone Perfect ET.


I ran again the next round just to back it up, and sat out Q4 and Q5, instead watching from the grandstand. I was ecstatic, my first year and I was about to get a trophy! There was just one more car to run. Brian Pateman rolled up to the tree on a bye. Staged, and left with his usual great light, but without another car in the other lane, it was quite hard to estimate how he was doing. I looked in shock as the board lit up 9.900, waiting nervously for Colin to confirm his forth digit. I sat there for what seemed like an eternity, then Colin announced his time as 9.9009, only one ten thousandth off my run. Well with the Bloodwise Perfect ET sticker adorning my car and prize money in hand, I was then awarded the trophy and prize money by Jon Giles and Simon Gough, generously sponsored by Cadman Plant. Unfortunately rain then spoilt proceedings, and that was it for the weekend.

The UK National Finals and theoretically I could come second in the National Championships if I was well behaved. Again, another thing I have learned through life, and strengthened by racing, don't count your chickens! Paired up for my first run of the weekend, fired up and rolled to the box. Just as I started my burnout, the window net fell down as I hadn't managed to clip it in correctly. Rolled out of the burnout, and the throttle seemed to be stuck slightly open, enough to pull on the converter and I was really struggling to hold the car on the brake. Flustered, my crew sorted the net and I came up to the beam, staged, then as usual hit the transbrake button - so I thought, but it was the line lock - foot off the brake and shot off down the track foul-staging. That was the tune of things for the rest of the weekend for me. Paired up with Jon Giles in E1, I knew he was going to be good on the light but rushed staging, going in a little deeper than normal. Jon hit a brilliant 0.03 and we were off on the charge. Somehow I hadn't noticed that I had red-lit, and I saw Jon way ahead assuming a break-out which he did. If only I had kept my cool.


That was it for the year. I eventually finished fourth in the Nationals, top qualifier at the European Finals, and APIRA Super Gas Champion.

So what can I take from all of this? Take opportunity as it comes as you may never get another (as I have so sadly experienced especially over the last few years), believe in yourself and those around you, but mostly, have fun. Thank you Santa Pod Raceway, Shakespeare County Raceway and Eurodragster.com staff (Thanks, you're welcome - Ed), marshals, safety crew and everyone involved no matter how small (I already said thanks - Ed), Jon, Simon and all who have worked tirelessly raising sponsorship and getting Super Gas back to what it once was, and all my fellow Super Gas racers who have been nothing but amazing. Thank you to all racers in all classes who make this sport the amazing show it is. Finally to sponsors Prem's Jewellery and LCM Engineering, and my team Paul, Zoe, Lesley, Dave, Lee, Tom, Katie my brother Phil and all my family without whose dedication and trust I wouldn't be racing at all especially to my little girl as if she had not noticed the Michel R Peters logo on Pauls car I would never have met such wonderful people and have so much fun.

Happy New Year everyone, keep safe and have a successful 2018. The Terry Gibbs Super Gas Shootout is going to be amazing, I can't wait for Round 1.

Some pictures courtesy and ©Blackett Photography


Lucas Oil renew Undertaker backing.
26th January: Steve Ashdown and the UK's Undertaker Fuel Funny Car team are pleased to announce the continued support of
Lucas Oil Products in 2018:

Lucas Oil will be supplying us with all of the oils and lubricants needed to run the Funny Car for a full season. Huge thanks to Les Downey, Dan Morgan and the whole of the Lucas Oil team for all their support once again.

See you all at Easter!


Tophaven build on Mechaell success.
26th January: After a successful 2017 UK National 8.50 Bike Champion Jake Mechaell is pleased to announce new sponsor Tophaven Sustainable Construction who will be offering their outstanding support alongside existing sponsors Webster Race Engineering, EPS Motorsport and Bedford and Sons Motorcycles.

Tophaven specialise in using new and innovative products in the construction, extension and renovation of properties. From its formation in 2002 Tophaven have been using the latest green technologies and combination of products to build properties to a higher standard for energy efficiency, sound reduction, lower CO2 emissions for both onward occupation and during construction, whilst maintaining traditional craftmanship and quality. The company takes its responsibilities very seriously with regard to safety, the environment and the general perception of the industry. Based in Northamptonshire the company works both locally and nationally supplying and fitting building systems and undertaking all aspects of building and construction work. Tophaven has built up a reputation for constructing high-quality, low-maintenance energy-efficient buildings, and is always searching for new products and methods to build to even higher, greener and more sustainable standards.

You can find out more on Tophaven's web site at www.tophaven.co.uk.


Swift snippets.
26th January: UK Super Pro ET racer Mark Flavell is seeking an altered body. "Preferably a Ford Roadster or a Bantam but WHY", says Flav. "It's going to be the basis of something very different which will allow us to shed the Firebird FC body for the Nostalgia events". If you can help then you can get in touch with Flav at mark@flavellwelding.co.uk or call 07785 226782.

APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 2.
26th January: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The latest shortlist is the Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement which is awarded to a racer who achieved outstanding performance at Shakespeare County Raceway during the season.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Dave Batcheler (Comp Bike)
Vote for Dave Batcheler

Scott Collier (Comp Bike)
Vote for Scott Collier

Allan Davies (Funny Bike)
Vote for Allan Davies

Bill Murfin (Super Pro ET)
Vote for Bill Murfin

Outlaw Anglia (as a class)
Vote for Outlaw Anglia

Rob Slater (Tri-Chevy Shootout)
Vote for Rob Slater

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories will be posted as follow:

Monday 29th January: APIRA / Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year
Friday 2nd February: APIRA Endeavour Award
Monday 5th February: Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy
Friday 9th February: McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer


VP launch new fuel container.
26th January: Further to our John Woolfe Racing-sponsored Autosport International coverage, Eurodragster.com sponsor VP Racing Fuels has launched its new 3 Gallon Motorsportsman container which is available immediately through the VP distribution network and at  VPRacingFuels.com.

VP's 3 Gallon Motorsportsman Containers are made with only the highest quality virgin high-density polyethylene, including 30% more material than standard containers to withstand the roughest treatment. The containers are subjected to a fifteen-point quality test and carry a three-year limited warranty against cracks, leaks or splitting. They feature an ergonomically contoured handle, bottom grip for easy pouring and a non-breakable multipurpose cap with rubber gaskets. Hose not included.

You can find out more at www.vpracingfuels.com/product/3-gallon-motorsportsmans-container.


SPRC seeking beadlock wheels.
24th January:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall writes that the Club are seeking a pair of SFI 15.3 16" rear double beadlock wheels (older Top Fuel wheels):

Second-hand would be preferable. The condition needs to be OK, but they are not going to be used on a car. These are the older Top Fuel wheel, not the later square drive type. We are not looking for a freebie but we are not seeking expensive new wheels either, please let me know what you have and how much.

If you can help then please get in touch with Ian at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or call 01933 313625 (outside the UK +44 1933 313625).


Web site updates.
24th January: Our good buddy photo-journalist Steve Moxley has had a report and pictures from the Manufacturers Cup World Finals at Valdosta posted on the Eat My Ink web site at www.eatmyink.com. Stay tuned as we also have our own Feature from Steve from that event which will be posted very soon.

APIRA Perpetual Awards vote 1.
22nd January: Avon Park International Racing Association and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give readers the chance of input to the APIRA Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the joint Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and National Association of Supertwins Trophy Night on Saturday 3rd March. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the APIRA selection panel decides upon its winners.

For six of the 2017 season awards, shortlists have been decided for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. One shortlist will be posted per week; the remaining lists will be posted on Mondays starting next week.

The first shortlist is the Iris Page Memorial Trophy. The Iris Page Memorial Trophy is awarded to a racer, team, official, marshal or other individual who has either contributed to the sport over the last twelve months, or who has achieved their own personal goals against all the odds.

The APIRA selection panel's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Bert and Ernie Racing (SCR Bracket Gamblers)
Vote for Bert and Ernie Racing

Mike Lacey (Pro ET)
Vote for Mike Lacey

Dave Nicol (Super Pro ET and Jap Drag Racer Series)
Vote for Dave Nicol

Dave (Sag) Southworth (Wild Bunch)
Vote for Dave Southworth

Dave Thomas (Super Street Bike)
Vote for Dave Thomas

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official APIRA Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the APIRA Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page. If the E-Mail is not automatically generated with your chosen name in the title then simply send an E-Mail to apiraawards2017@btinternet.com giving the category (Iris Page Memorial Trophy etc) as the subject of the E-Mail and the name of the person for whom you wish to vote in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact APIRA direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories will be posted as follow:

Friday 26th January: APIRA / Shakespeare County Raceway Award for Outstanding Achievement
Monday 29th January: APIRA / Shakespeare County Raceway Sportswoman of the Year
Friday 2nd February: APIRA Endeavour Award
Monday 5th February: Alan Wigmore Memorial Trophy
Friday 9th February: McDonald Racing Ireland Best Newcomer


See nitro for more PBs.
22nd January: After a very successful 2017 UK six-second, 200 mph Wild Bunch slingshot racer Bob Hawkins and the Time Traveller team are of course agreed that they want to try to keep the PBs coming in 2018, down through the mid-sixes to the low sixes if possible. To do so the team have made the big decision to tip a different can:

It's a big, no huge target with an old iron block Chevy on alky and limited budget. How are we going to achieve it? Well, if we're going to that extreme then we thought why not go the whole hog and go blown nitro racing on the same budget! So that's now our plan.

We've changed the engine and blower combination to accommodate a decent percentage so our new challenge has now begun. We still intend to run with the Wild Bunch as much, as it's such a brilliant club. We've made so many friends over the years and it would be fantastic for a Wild Bunch slingshot to be one of the fastest outside the USA. We are hoping also to compete in the Slingshot Showdown at Dragstalgia and of course hope to defend last year's title. I'm really looking forward to racing on the Pod's brand new track and can't wait for Easter!

I'd like to wish all racers, track and safety crews, officials, Tog and everyone else a fabulous and safe 2018 (Thanks! - Ed). See you at the track!

You can check out a video of the year's first fire-up by clicking here or by clicking on the image at right.


Swift snippets.
22nd January: No news update yesterday so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday for yesterday (Sunday) to SPRC Starter and top bloke David Warren. Hope you had a great day David.

Many thanks to everyone who submitted votes and nominations for the SPRC Perpetual Awards. No thanks to those responsible for the three attempts at vote-rigging. The winners will be announced at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation this coming Saturday (27th) and will be posted here on Eurodragster.com News immediately after the presentation.


2018 European SFI Tour dates.
20th January: Many thanks to
SFI Foundation Vice President Jennifer Faye for forwarding us the dates of this year's European SFI Recertification Tour. Full venue details and operating hours will be confirmed in due course.

The inspection team will be Jennifer, Andy Robinson, Luke Robinson and L-G Eriksson.

Thursday 8th March: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Friday 9th March: Helsinki, Finland NB tentative
Saturday 10th March: Persåkers Speed Shop, Åkers Styckebruk, Sweden
Monday 12th March: Santa Pod Raceway, UK

A list of items which can be inspected, now including SFI 61.1 turbochargers (Precision brand only), can be checked out by clicking here (PDF format).


SPRC Dinner Dance drink orders.
20th January: Yvonne Tramm has been in touch to let us know that drinks can be pre-ordered for your table at next Saturday's (27th) Santa Pod Racers Club Dinner Dance and Trophy Presentation at the De Vere Staverton Park Hotel.

The hotel have supplied a list of available drinks which you can check out by clicking here (PDF format). Please E-Mail your name and drinks selection to Yvonne at ytramm@africonnect.com by close next Thursday, 25th January. Payment will be taken on the night.


Pro ET Challenge expands.
20th January: Jonny Niesner writes that Drag Race Union's popular Pro ET Challenge is extending its reach in 2018 and that all are welcome to participate:

We are expecting participants from all over Central Europe to collect Challenge points at ten races. For the first time rounds will be held at Santa Pod, England and Malmö, Sweden. We are again fully motivated for the coming season and will give of our best. This is not only an additional challenge for us, but also to promote the community and its image. More information is available on our web site at www.dragraceunion.eu or on our Facebook page.

If you are interested in joining the Pro ET Challenge, you can get all the information you need at www.dragraceunion.eu/proet-challenge.


SPRC Perpetual Awards closing.
20th January: Voting and nominations for the SPRC Perpetual Awards close at 23:59 UK tonight (Saturday).

To place your votes for Most Promising Newcomer, Best-Appearing Car, Best-Appearing Bike, Most Professional-Appearing Team and the James Edgar Memorial Trophy, or to submit a nomination for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, click here or click on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Important UK rule book change.
18th January:
Santa Pod Racers Club Secretary Ian Marshall has been in touch with news of an important update to the 2018 UK rule book:

Following on from last year's rule book update GSR 1.2.2 Diapers, the regulation mandating diapers for all cars 7.50 and slower has been removed from the 2018 rule book.

This is pending further investigation from the Tech Committee during 2018; there have been some issues which require research for stock-type vehicles which are running in various classes.

If you have any queries then please contact the UK Tech Crew (details in the rule book), call Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com.


Slicks sought for SPR prep.
18th January: Ian Marshall also writes that SPRC's track crew are seeking used slicks or ET Street Radials for use in prepping the new track surface.

If you have any used slicks or ET Street Radials then please call Ian on 01933 313625 or E-Mail ir.marshall@btconnect.com. The Club will be glad to arrange collection of tyres.


Straightliners take to the Isles.
18th January: Trevor Duckworth writes that as well as the usual schedule of events on the mainland, the UK's Straightliners will also be holding four events on neighbouring islands in 2018:

We have three events at the new Jurby Track on the Isle of Man, and we are also back in Northern Ireland at St Anglos Airfield, Enniskillen. These venues are basically no-prep tracks and great fun for a long weekend away drag racing:

14th-15th April: Jurby, Isle of Man
30th June-1st July: Jurby, Isle of Man
5th August: St Anglos Airfield, Enniskillen, Northern Island
1st-2nd September: Jurby, Isle of Man

These events are open to all, and we have travel and accommodation packages available. Details for all events will be posted shortly at www.straightlinersevents.co.uk.


Memorabilia seeking a good home.
18th January: Martin Wilson has been in touch to let us know that due to downsized accommodation he is having to sell his collection of drag racing memorabilia.


On offer are about thirty die-cast models in various scales, some bought in the USA so would probably not have been available in this country and some are signed by the drivers, signed Paul Whitehouse prints The Famous Five, Allard Chrysler and Mooneyes and Andy Carter History Is Made, and books including Petersen's History of Drag Racing, A Complete Guide to Motorcycle Drag Racing by Mike Griffin, John Force The Straight Story, Hot Rods and Dragsters by Melvyn Record, Crazy Horses by Brian Taylor, Drive It - The Complete Book of Drag Racing by David Hardcastle and Peter Jones. "I would very much like them to go to a good home and would not want a lot of money for them, only what someone would wish to pay for it all", says Martin. If you are interested then you can contact Martin at glomriff@gmail.com.


Santa Pod announce Bike double-header.
16th January: James Forster of Santa Pod Raceway has been in touch with news of a new event in August providing a double-header Championship round for UK drag bike racers:

By popular demand, Santa Pod Raceway are pleased to announce a new event in the form of the Redline Rumble on Saturday 18th-Sunday 19th August.

The event will host not one but two rounds of the ACU and UK National Drag Bike Championships with qualifying and eliminations taking place each day. One entry form will cover both days; no single-day entry will available. This means that there will be two lots of points, trophies and prize funds on offer.

The event will include Funny Bike, Comp Bike, 8.50 Bike, 9.50 Bike, Junior Drag Bike, ET Bike and Supertwin Top Gas. Super Street Bike are not scheduled for the event as many riders are expected to be competing at the NitrOlympX at Hockenheim which falls on the same weekend.

Those bike classes will not be enough to fill that weekend alone and therefore a handful of car classes will be invited along too. There will be no MSA permit so the classes invited will be those which can operate outside of that. Classes will be announced as they're confirmed.

Unfortunately this new event comes at the expense of the scheduled Saturday Night Special and RWYB weekend. It is far from an ideal scenario but due to the way the calendar has worked out for certain race classes it's something which we must do for the sake of Sportsman drag racing in the UK. We must apologise to those RWYBers who were planning on attending that weekend.

For further information please see
www.santapod.com.

SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 5.
15th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 27th January.

For several of the 2017 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

The final category is the James Edgar Memorial Trophy. The James Edgar Memorial Trophy is awarded for outstanding performance by a Crew Chief, tuner, racer / tuner, or crew member.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

Jack Brewster (Super Pro ET)
Vote for Jack Brewster

Chris Hannam, for Neil Midgley (Supertwin)
Vote for Chris Hannam

Andy Hone (Comp Eliminator)
Vote for Andy Hone

Luke Robinson, for Andy Robinson (Pro Modified)
Vote for Luke Robinson

Rick Stubbins (Super Street Bike)
Vote for Rick Stubbins

Glenn Tooke, for Warpspeed Racing (Funny Bike)
Vote for Glenn Tooke

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
©Eurodragster.com
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Andy Marrs of SPRC's timing crew. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2017@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

Voting and nominations close at 23:59 UK this Saturday (20th).


2018 Kunmadaras calendar.
15th January: Many thanks to József Hadnagy and Alexandra Tóth for forwarding us this year's calendar of events at Kunmadaras in Hungary. The facility is being prepared and all car and bike racers are welcome:

14th April: Drag Picnic
29th April-1st May: FIM Europe Super Street Bike Championship, International Hungarian Drag Challenge (open), International Drag Bike race (open)
2nd June: Drag and Drag Bike race
25th-26th August: Extreme Festival (drag racing and stunts)

You can read more at www.kunmadarasmotorsport.hu.


PDRC Nite of Champions now booking.
15th January: Alan Perkins writes that the Pennine Drag Racing Club AGM and Nite of Champions presentation both take place on Saturday 3rd March:

The date is a week later than usual due to the hotel hosting a large wedding! The AGM will take place at 14:00 and the Presentation at 19:00 at the Campanile Hotel, 6 Roydsdale Way, Euroway Estate, Bradford BD4 6SA (map).

All are welcome, it would be great to see new faces as well as old. Tickets for the Presentation are £26 which includes a three-course meal. For a booking form either see our Facebook page or E-Mail pdrc@btinternet.com.

Hotel rooms can be booked direct with the Campanile on 01274 68368. You will receive a discount if you mention the Pennine Drag Racing Club.

Book early as places are going fast.


Web site updates.
15th January: The British Drag Racing Hall of Fame has published the fifth issue of its on-line magazine HOFtalk, which is designed to facilitate communications with members and supporters of the BDRHoF and which is edited by Simon Groves, member of the board of BDRHoF Ltd and Eurodragster.com's own Pit Reporter. "In this issue you can see pictures of the Gala which took place at the Oatlands Park Hotel, Weybridge, and the personalities who attended", says Simon. "We also look at the second half of the 2017 season and some of the treats in store for nostalgia drag racing enthusiasts in 2018. Look out for an announcement soon about the 2018 BDRHoF Gala!". HOFtalk V is available as a downloadable PDF file by clicking here, or by clicking on the Features, Interviews, Tributes link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Autosport International report.
13th January: In association with John Woolfe Racing we have posted illustrated notes and additional pictures from yesterday's second day of the Autosport International Show at Santa Pod Raceway.

As well as Eurodragster.com sponsor companies we encountered a few racers including usual Autosport suspects, and found out more than a few interesting things including a couple of new products of interest to Junior Dragster racers.

You can check out our report by clicking here or by clicking on the John Woolfe Racing Event Coverage link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.


Swift snippets.
13th January: We would like to say a big Happy Birthday to Podington Pea Andrew Shakeshaft. Have a great day Andrew.

2018 UK Riders' and Drivers' meeting.
12th January: Many thanks to Ian Marshall for confirming that the 2018 UK Riders' and Drivers' Meeting will be held on Sunday 11th February at the Hilton Hotel, Northampton, on the eastbound A45 just off Junction 15 of the M1 (postcode is NN4 0XW,
map). The meeting will commence at 12:30. Refreshments will be available free of charge on arrival.

Items to be discussed include the 2018 UK National Championships (ratification of dates as well as Championship matters), event entry fees and pitside electrical supply, and prize funds, as well as Any Other Business.

Racers are invited to submit items for the agenda but please note that an item will only be discussed if its proposer actually attends the meeting.

If you have any items for the agenda of the 2018 Riders' and Drivers' Meeting then please send them either to Santa Pod Racers Club at ir.marshall@btconnect.com or to Shakespeare County Raceway at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com by close of office hours on Friday 2nd February.

Immediately after the Riders' and Drivers' Meeting will be the Annual General Meeting for Santa Pod Racers Club, which will discuss the SPRC accounts. Please note that this will not be a continuation of the Riders' and Drivers' meeting and that access to the AGM will require current SPRC membership.


APIRA Trophy Night update.
11th January: Jerry Cookson of
Shakespeare County Raceway has been in touch with a reminder that Saturday 17th February is the deadline for bookings for the Avon Park International Racing Association, Shakespeare County Raceway and the National Association of Supertwins Trophy Presentation Evening which takes place at 18:00 on Saturday 3rd March in the Avon Room of the Hilton Warwick, Stratford Road, Warwick CV34 6RE (on Junction 15 of the M40).

APIRA have negotiated a preferential rate for rooms in the hotel at £90 for a double or £80 for a single. All rates are inclusive of breakfast, car parking and VAT. To book your room please call the reservations team on 08008 568000 or visit the web site at www.hilton.com/warwick quoting reference code ASRAS. Cut off for bedroom bookings at the special rate is twenty eight days prior to arrival.

Jerry asks that any 2017 APIRA Champions or runners-up who know that they will not be able to make the Trophy Evening E-Mail him at shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.

You can download your booking form (PDF format) from the Downloads page of the Shakespeare County Raceway web site at  www.shakespearecountyraceway.co.uk. Payments can be made by BACS; account details can also be found on the booking form. Please note that all booking forms should be returned to the address on the form by 17th February.

If you have any queries then please call 01789 720180, or E-Mail shakespearecountyraceway@gmail.com.


Swift snippets.
11th January: Also on the subject of the APIRA Trophy Evening, the vote for the APIRA Perpetual Awards for the 2017 season will commence here on Eurodragster.com very shortly.

We would like to say a big Happy Birthday for today (Thursday) to UK Pro ET racer and Eurodragster.com / Bad Habit Racing Perfect Light Award sponsor Tig Napier. Have a great day Tig. Also celebrating a birthday today is Mikey Durbridge, have a Happy Birthday Mikey.


SPR/DFDS ferry discount continues.
10th January: Many thanks to Caroline Holden for letting us know that the deal between Santa Pod Raceway and DFDS for reduced-rate ferry crossings across the English Channel is to continue into 2018.

This year's rates have increased by £10 or €10 but the concessionary rates still offer a considerable discount when compared to DFDS' standard freight tariff.

You can download the booking form by
clicking here for PDF version or clicking here for Word version.

For more information about DFDS check out their web site at www.dfdsseaways.co.uk but to benefit from the Santa Pod Raceway discount please be sure to use the form, not the web site, to make bookings.


Swift snippets.
10th January: Eurodragster.com streaming services provider Doyousee.me have created a movie of René van den Berg's Personal Best run of 6.09 in Top Fuel Bike qualifying at last year's UK National Finals at Santa Pod Raceway. Maikel Gloudemans writes: we had already posted raw footage of the run using our 360° camera, but now we have been able to combine it with footage from Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport and and Nitro FM's audio feed; many thanks to Tog and to Julian Parsons for providing these (You're welcome - Ed). We have tried to capture the massive acceleration of a Top Fuel Bike combined with the team spirit needed to achieve Personal Bests. We would very much like to thank Shark Attack Drag Racing for allowing us to mount a camera on several of their machines, and their sponsor Eurol. The video can be found on YouTube; be sure to check out all the other videos on our channel and subscribe, because there's more where this came from.

SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 4.
8th January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 27th January 2018.

For several of the 2017 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's category is Most Professional-Appearing Team. The SPRC Most Professional-Appearing Team trophy recognises not just the presentation of a race vehicle but the team's overall approach to racing. As well as a well-turned-out car or bike, the Committee have considered such aspects as the appearance and attitude of team personnel, the organisation and appearance of their pit area and support equipment, and their readiness when their class is called.

The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order of team / vehicle (not racer) name, is as follows:

Drummin' Man (Joe Kellett, Super Pro ET and Leah Kellett, Super Comp)
Vote for Drummin' Man

Protek Racing (Rick Stubbins, Super Street Bike and Josh Stubbins, 8.50 Bike)
Vote for Protek Racing

Sticky Situation Racing (Jordan Payne, Lucas Oil Junior Dragster)
Vote for Sticky Situation Racing

Venom (Tony Betts, Nostalgia Funny Car)
Vote for Venom

Voodoo Hemi Racing (Marck Harteveld, Pro Modified)
Vote for Voodoo Hemi Racing

White Noise (Bob Molden, Pro ET)
Vote for White Noise

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
©Eurodragster.com
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Andy Marrs of SPRC's timing crew. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2017@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The final category, which will be posted next Monday (15th), will be the James Edgar Memorial Trophy. Voting will close at 23:59 UK on Saturday 20th.


Swift snippets.
8th January: The UK's Lee Cohen tells us that his blown-alcohol Zephyr will be again be displayed on the NGK Spark Plugs (UK) stand at this weekend's Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham. Stand 2850 can be found in Hall 20 on both the Trade / Press Days (Thursday and Friday) and the public days (Saturday and Sunday).

Swift snippets.
7th January: The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (right) came with the words "Strange things are coming". If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at
eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.

Thanks for all of the votes for the SPRC Perpetual Awards and the nominations for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy; please keep both coming. The penultimate category will be Most Professional-Appearing Team whose shortlist will be posted on tomorrow's (Monday's) update.


Lucas Oil launches at Autosport.
7th January: Track action, engine performance and driver satisfaction are the main themes for  Eurodragster.com sponsor Lucas Oil Products at this week's Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham. The US oil and additives manufacturer shares stand 7460 with Santa Pod Raceway, in Hall 7.

The Lucas Oil Brad Jackson Racing livery for the new drag racing season will be revealed, LOP Super Lube engine oil will make its show début, new Point of Sales Product Display Units will be launched, and the latest engine treatments designed to reduce emissions and improve vehicle performance will be introduced. 

Runner-up in last season's UK National Super Pro ET Championship last season, twenty one-year-old Brad Jackson aims to go one place better this season in his American-built Worthy Dragster. The car is 235 inches long and races from 0-60 mph in 0.87 seconds and 0-175 mph in 7.62 seconds.

LOP Super Lube is the first Lucas Oil engine oil to be targeted and the budget end of the market.  Blended and packaged in the UK, It is also the first Lucas Oil engine oil to be manufactured under licence outside the US.

Lucas Oil is extending its problem solving solutions range for cars and light commercials with the introduction of a solvent-based fast action Diesel EGR and Turbo Cleaner spray. It is the latest in a range of instant and reliable toolbox-ready answers available for a relatively small investment.

Visitors to the stand will also be able to take the role of one of the many Lucas Oil-sponsored drivers by experiencing a high speed track ride for themselves in a virtual race simulator.


Habermanns are Go for 2018.
6th January: After discussions and consideration after last season, German two-car Top Methanol Dragster team
Werner Habermann Racing have announced that they will contest the entire FIA European Championship tour this season. FIA European Top Methanol Champion Timo Habermann writes:

We are looking forward to it.

As in 2017 our main sponsor will be Mitsuboshi with their Star Racer blower belts, and we'll carry a large selection of their belts to the track. Nevertheless it's better to pre-order them from us.

The Star Racer blower belts are stronger and last longer then other supercharger belts. We made more than twenty runs with the same belt before we took it off and kapr it for use as a spare. They helped us to win a couple of European Championship titles and have been welcomed by other teams. We are not saying this because we are sponsored by them, no, it's because we are very happy with the product. 

For the coming season the team is getting huge support from our existing sponsors: Mitsuboshi / Star Racer, Höfler Fenster, TommyWerbung, Swagelok, Fuchs Oil, Exide Batteries, Autokrandienst Habermann, and we are proud to announce that we have a new partner: Bergheimer Stahlhallen.


SPRC Dinner Dance update.
4th January: Yvonne Tramm has been in touch with an update about Santa Pod Racers Club's Dinner Dance and Trophy Evening which takes place at 6:00 pm on Saturday 27th January at the De Vere Staverton Park Hotel, Daventry Road, Staverton, Daventry, NN11 6JT (
map) and at which trophies will be presented to Champions and runners-up in the 2017 UK National Drag Racing Championship, MSA British Drag Racing Championship, Santa Pod Racers Club Championship and SPRC Perpetual Awards.

The deal for preferential rates on hotel rooms has now expired. You can still book a room, albeit at full rate, by calling the hotel on 01327 302002.

Bookings for the Dinner Dance close on Friday 19th January. Tickets are £35 per adult and £20 for under-12s, which includes a three-course meal plus tea / coffee and mints. An additional £1 per ticket should be added if paying by credit card, although please note that American Express cannot be accepted. If you wish to pay direct to the SPRC bank account then the details can be found on any event entry form or contact Yvonne (see below) and she will forward details.

The main meal for children will be chicken nuggets and chips followed by ice cream; please choose a starter for your child and also specify on the booking form that it is for a child.

If you have any special dietary requirements then please inform Yvonne at ytramm@africonnect.com and she will include them on the menu selection list for the hotel. Please do not approach the hotel yourself regarding special dietary requirements.

You can download the Dinner Dance booking form (PDF format) by clicking here. Please note that booking forms should be sent to Yvonne at the address specified on the form and not to the SPRC office.

If you have any queries about the Dinner Dance then please contact Yvonne, not the SPRC office, at ytramm@africonnect.com.


Swift snippets.
4th January: Land Speed racer Geoff Stilwell of British Drag Racing Hall of Fame sponsor Beech Underwriting has been in touch with best wishes to US legend Linda Vaughn who is recovering from heart surgery. "I am sure that Linda's name is known by anyone involved in drag racing as the wonderful Miss Hurst", says Geoff. "On behalf of all drag racers here in the UK I would like to wish my good friend Linda a very speedy recovery. Get Well very soon Linda."

The latest spy picture to arrive at the offices of Eurodragster.com (below left) came with no words. If you know more, or if you would like to send your own spy picture, then drop us a line at eurodragster.com@btinternet.com.


Our good friend Bob Roberts, who works on the Pro Modified team of Eurodragster.com sponsor Andy Robinson, has posted the Anger Management team's New Year Resolution in video form. Featuring in-car footage and views from Eurodragster.com's Webster Race Engineering / Nimbus Motorsport webcam, the enviably well-edited video (above right) shows the final round of Pro Modified at the UK National Finals.

No news update yesterday (Wednesday) so we were unable to say a big Happy Birthday to UK Junior Dragster racer Jordan Payne. Hope you had a great day Jordan.

Eurodragster.com will be attending the Friday of next week's Autosport International at the NEC in Birmingham and as ever we will post an illustrated report in association with John Woolfe Racing. If you plan to be at Autosport next Friday and would be amenable to an interview then drop us a line at tog@eurodragster.com and we'll fix a date.


SPRC Perpetual Awards vote 3.
2nd January: Santa Pod Racers Club and Eurodragster.com are again teaming up to give Eurodragster.com readers the chance of input to the
SPRC Perpetual Awards, which will be presented at the SPRC Dinner Dance and Trophy presentation on Saturday 27th January 2018.

For several of the 2017 season awards, a shortlist has been decided upon for which votes can be submitted by E-Mail. Nominations are now also being accepted for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy. The votes of Eurodragster.com readers will be taken into consideration when the SPRC Committee decides upon their winners.

This week's category is Best-Appearing Bike. The SPRC Committee's shortlist, in alphabetical order, is as follows. You can see larger pictures on the official Perpetual Awards page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.

Ian Chrichlow
8.50 Bike

Jasmine Cordelle
ET Bike

Mark Dainty
8.50 Bike

Bobby Frazier
8.50 Bike

Neil Midgley
Supertwin (owner Chris Hannam)

Steve Venables
Super Street Bike

To place your vote, either use the links above or go to the official Perpetual Awards voting page which you can view by clicking here or by clicking on the SPRC Perpetual Awards vote link on the left-hand side of any Eurodragster.com page.
©Eurodragster.com
The Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy, for which nominations are also now being taken, was first awarded to Santa Pod Racers Club's late Chief Marshal, Alex Brachtvogel, in 2001 to mark his outstanding contribution to Santa Pod Raceway and the sport as a whole. After Alex's death the trophy was named in his memory and continues to be awarded for contribution to drag racing. There is no shortlist for the Alex Brachtvogel award. Nominations are invited from Eurodragster.com readers for racers, race officials, track and safety crews, club officials, media, or anyone else who has contributed to the sport. Last year the trophy was awarded to Andy Marrs of SPRC's timing crew. Again see the official page for more details or E-Mail your nomination to sprcawards2017@btinternet.com specifying SPRC Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy nomination as the subject and your nomination in the body of the E-Mail.

For each of the Awards, one vote per E-Mail address per nominee will be accepted: multiple votes for the same nominee from the same E-Mail address will all be disqualified. And every year we say this, but every year someone tries it on: please note that blatant attempts at organising mass votes - for example asking workmates, forum members or Facebook friends to vote en masse - are easily identified and all such votes will be disallowed as they have been in previous years. Concerted attempts at vote-rigging will result in the nominee being removed from the shortlist whether or not that nominee knows what was going on. We know all the dodges so it's just not worth trying. If in any doubt about what constitutes canvassing then please drop us a line at editor@eurodragster.com.

Additionally, if anyone should have issues with the content of any of the shortlists then please have the courtesy to contact SPRC direct rather than contacting Eurodragster.com or posting cryptic comments or bullying candidates on Facebook. E-Mails to Eurodragster.com regarding the content of the shortlists will receive neither a reply nor any other acknowledgement.

The remaining categories are as follow:

Monday 8th January: Most Professional-Appearing Team
Monday 15th January: James Edgar Memorial Trophy


Gullqvist's record season.
1st January: As if more Championships and records were not enough, FIA European Pro Modified Champion Micke Gullqvist set a new mark as the first FIA racer to exceed six hundred points in a season, and his tally of 610 was the most ever for an FIA racer contesting a single class. Micke writes:

We had a great season in 2017, winning three out of four concluded FIA events and undefeated in the two events which were rained out, with one just lacking the final. Our record win-lose ratio was 19-1, we reset the European record twice and set Low ET at five events. The quality of the tracks was very good overall, and we lowered the track record at three of the four tracks.

We had a couple of very exciting races against the Old 51 team who put up great resistance with Jimmy Ålund behind the wheel. Things like that really motivate us to get after it, and I'm pumped up about racing them again in 2018.

We had great help from fine companies including Lucas Oil, Kjelland Transport, Stavdal, Pampas Marina, Carolines Kitchen, Blenco, LenMech and Aeromotive.


Swift snippets.
1st January: Many thanks to Job Heezen of the FIM Europe Drag Racing commission for the following message, to which the Eurodragster.com staff add our own wishes for a very Happy New Year to all of our readers:


Thanks for all of the votes for the SPRC Perpetual Awards and the nominations for the Alex Brachtvogel Memorial Trophy; please keep both coming. The next category will be Best-Appearing Bike whose shortlist will be posted on tomorrow's (Tuesday's) update. For the record, the attempt at an organised vote at 19:45 on Christmas Day did not, of course, go unnoticed and the votes involved have been DQ'd.



Earlier news